Flushed wet wipes causing problems at Attleboro sewage plant

Aug 9, 2019

ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WJAR) — A popular cleaning product that's being flushed away is causing problems with the sewage system in Attleboro.

Wet wipes, which can be used for anything from cleaning a child’s bottom to sanitizing a toilet, are clogging sewer pumps across the city.

"Those are being thrown into the toilet because it says flushable on those, but they’re not degradable and so the water doesn’t break them down," said Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux.

Heroux is reminding people that wet wipes are made of a plastic-based material that doesn't disintegrate like toilet paper does.


The wipes are causing weekly blockages at the city's wastewater treatment plant. On top of that, it's costing the city between $30,000 to $50,000 annually in repair work.

"It’s a problem not for just anybody that’s on the city’s sewer line, but it’s also a problem for people who are using a septic system because the septic systems -- I mean, these things destroy the leeching fields in those septic systems," Heroux said.

Even wipes that say don't flush are ending up in the city's sewer system. The mayor admitted that he was once a guilty flusher but has changed his ways.

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